top of page
Swooning with the Swans.jpg
"Swooning with the Swans"
by Roberta Condon

2022 Thomas Hickey Creative Writing Contest Winner in Poetry

99 Obstacles

After Morgan Parker
Whitney Schwindenhammer

1. I really miss Obama

2. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

3. Quedarse de piedra

4. 322 calories in avocados 

5.  I'd rather have gelato 

6. Why do you eat on a first date?

7. I hate to go to lectures 

8. Work out at least 5 times a week 

9. He holds my belly when we spoon

10. “self-care” 

11. What is so important about Friday night? 

12. Another baggy T-shirt 

13. Eating right... 

14. “dieting” 


15. Escitalopram 


16. Restlessness 


17. 118 


18. Stomach aches


19. Buying my car


20-23 Eating rituals 


24. "strongly agree to strongly disagree with the following statements..."


25. Undressing in front of the mirror 


26. 333 rule


27. Wyd this weekend?


28. Time management


29. YOLO


30. Angry outbursts


31. and frustration


32. Paying for tuition


33. The soundtrack to my life


34. "July" by Noah Cyrus


35. "Other Notes"


36. Missing someone is like standing in the ocean


37. "I know what you're going through"


38.  Says a man 


39. Amante


40-45. "Dude"


46. Bad dreams


47. I had too many shots


48. still woke up at 7 on a Saturday


49. "Pepas" by Farruko


50. Interracial couples


51. Not the "right" Spanish


52. Que tal?


53. Bilingual


54.Wine Wednesday


55. Birth control


56. Fiambre


57. Men in general


58. Men that look too long


59. White men


60. Gringos


61. Privelegio


62. Triggers


63-68. What I had to drink


69. Sex


70. The right pair of jeans


71. Frat parties


72. Conversation


73. Vices




75. Sex, again


76. My prom dress


77. That one drug test


78. The ex-boyfriend


79. Time is a social construct


80. "signs you have..."


81. Needing a job


82. but not wanting one


83. and not having enough money for…


84. the fun stuff


85. Gas


86. Sushi 


87. because fast food is bad for you


88. To "go out"


89. Paying for an apartment


90. "Thank God" by Sasha Sloan


91. The word "diagnosis"


92. Checking to see if your thumb meets your pointer finger


93. around the opposite wrist


94. Messy room


95. At least I washed my hair


96. Never have I ever said a prayer


97. Rubbing your feet together at night


98. Tapping your toe instead of your leg


99. 999

Whitney Schwindenhammer is a Spanish major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She is a sophomore and aspires to be a translator in the future.

Roberta Condon is an artist and gallerist from Portage, WI. She is an award-winning Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, and a member of the Master’s Circle in the International Association of Pastel Societies. Roberta Condon has a gallery and studio at 223 W Cook Street in Portage, WI and is the author of the book “Agriculture All Around, Agriculture Run Aground” which discusses the loss of the family farm in the Midwest. This work is from her book in progress, and series of paintings entitled “A Hollow Boned Muse”.

bottom of page